1The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
the Lord is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When evildoers assail me
to devour my flesh—
my adversaries and foes—
they shall stumble and fall.
3 Though an army encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear;
though war rise up against me,
yet I will be confident.
4 One thing I asked of the Lord,
that will I seek after:
to live in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the Lord,
and to inquire in his temple.
5For he will hide me in his shelter
in the day of trouble;
he will conceal me under the cover of his tent;
he will lift me high upon a rock.
6And now my head shall be lifted up
above my enemies all around me,
and I will offer in his tent
sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make melody to the LORD.
It seems that David, in the circumstances that caused Psalm 27 to be written, has taken himself to pray and his prayer has been that if his life be lost, he would dwell with the Lord in His temple.
At the very least we can conclude this from that. No matter what the trouble, we are to keep an eternal perspective.
Believers in Jesus Christ are not fatalists. We do not go into dangerous situations with the belief that it does not matter what happens, or that we are not to try to stop evil things from happening. But we do go into them with the belief that no matter what does happen, we are safe. If we define safe as a long and prosperous life we will be very disappointed. But we believe that this life is not the end. We believe that the purpose of life is the glory of God and that He will be eternally glorified in the new heavens and new earth and until them He is glorified perfectly in heaven and faithfully on earth by His children.
God will realize His purposes in us. He created us, saved us, called us to our calling, for the praise of His glory. We need not fear what men can do to us. God is going to see to it that we give Him glory – in our living or in our dying; in our ease or in our hardships; in our health or in our sickness; in our wealth or in our poverty. Though a host should surround us,(and that could be poverty, sickness, enemies, mental affliction or other such things) we need not fear. We will either glorify Him in a victory of some kind or we will glorify Him in failure or death. In either case, we cannot lose.
It is easy to forget this. So we need to do what David does in this Psalm. He rehearses it to himself. Verse 1 he says that he will not fear even though a host of bad things happen to him as outlined in verses 2-4. Beginning in verse 5 David starts recalling to his memory what God has promised him. Note the tense of verse 5. It is all future. He will hide me. He will conceal me. He will lift me. These are things that have not happened yet, but since God has said them he knows they are true. Verse 6 is the result of believing the promise. Since God has promised then I shall be strong.
It is a beautiful thing to read. God has made very great and precious promises to all of His children. They will all be kept. What therefore shall we fear? And what shall our prayer be when the circumstances of life are so severe that death is certain? “Oh that I might dwell in the presence of my God.” This is what grace accomplishes in the faithful. This is what the world needs to see. This is a testimony of real faith in a real God who does much more for us than simply save us from trouble in this life.